We Can Love Again

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A week had passed, but the events of her last trip to the village continued to haunt her. Regina turned up the 'I'm fine' attitude and tried to forget- it was proving to be impossible, though. Robin still watched her closely; she found out that she was really bad at lying to people she truly loved.

"Finally, something from Alan!" Robin sounded like he had just won the lottery. In his hands, the man held a crisp white letter.

"That's great!" Regina told him, a flood of relief coming over her. He had been so stressed about it. "What's it say?"

"There's a meeting being held in an hour. Strange, usually Little John is the one who tells me about these kinds of things."

Regina rolled her eyes. "You're finally going to find out what was going on in the past few weeks, it doesn't matter who's telling you!"

Robin left within the next few minutes, leaving Regina and their two boys at the house. Henry was still asleep in his bed. The memory of the fortune teller was slowly eating at her, making her go crazy. Regina knew she had to do something about it soon, no matter how much she didn't want to.

Walking into the boys' bedroom, she picked up a pillow and tossed it towards her sleeping son.

"Henry, I'm going to go down to the village for a little bit- keep an eye on Roland, okay?"

The twelve year old let out a groan, keeping his eyes closed. "Okay."

Regina sighed. That was about all she could get from him these days. Her son was turning into the cliché teenager, and she didn't like it.

She then gave Roland a right hug and told him to push his brother out of bed before walking out the door, anxiety already overtaking her. Using magic to get there faster, Regina was already planning out what she was going to say.

Flashbacks of her last time in the village came to her almost instantly, it was amazing how such a wonderful place could become terrifying so quickly. She swiftly walked alongside the long line of shops, knowing exactly where she was going. Soon, Regina slowed down her pace and began scanning the faces of everyone behind the counter.

"Um, hi, remember me?" Regina's voice faltered, drawing the attention of the weathered old woman. She turned and gazed her over for a few seconds.

"Lots of people come and go around here, dear." She told Regina.

"No, I'm sure you do." The former queen persisted, "you- you told me I was pregnant and then I kind of blew up in your face..."

That struck a light inside of her. "Oh! Yes, I remember all that. I thought you were going to do something horrible to me."

Regina smiled sheepishly. "Right, sorry about that."

The woman gave her a dubious look. "Why did you come back then? Do you believe that you are now?"

Regina tensed. As much as she tried to sustain herself, she just couldn't.

"I thought the idea was complete bogus at first but... I'm late." Tears threatened to spill over onto her cheeks as she spoke. "I don't know if that means anything... I don't know anything about all of this."

"Why are you upset about it, isn't a child a good thing? You had an adorable little boy with you last time, too."

Regina shrugged halfheartedly. "I've never been pregnant before, my oldest is adopted and Roland's biological mother died when he was born," she told her, wiping her face, "I'm just so scared..."

Regina laughed slightly to herself. "I'm so sorry. Here I am venting about my many problems, yet you don't even know my name."

The woman seemed amused. "I wouldn't be so sure about that, Regina Mills."

Stunned, Regina could only stare back at her. "How...?"

"My dear, I've lived in this village for longer than you'd probably guess, I know who you are."

"Then why-?"

"I wanted to read the famous 'Evil Queen's' palm, that's why I offered you it for free! I figured you would be filled with misery and anger, stories I could tell to people. But all I saw that day was a frightened little girl- one expecting a child, nonetheless. Now this man in your life- do you love him?"

Regina nodded, letting out a small smile. "Very much."

"Then you have to tell him." She leaned in closer to the other woman as her expression turned serious. "There's been... Talk about you in the village, it isn't safe for you to be here, Regina. The villagers are all angry, they're all plotting against you."

Regina couldn't believe what she was hearing. "What? How do they know?"

"Just get home, keep your children safe."

An uneasy feeling came over her.

"Tell him; tell your family and stay low."

The stress was piling up so fast, she didn't realize things could turn so swiftly.

There were only a few people that knew about him and her...

"Now go- I'll try convincing them otherwise, but I can't make any promises."

"Thank you," Regina told her, "for everything."

She then started off back towards the gates, making sure to keep her head down; now everyone around her was a threat. Regina continued on her way to the house, her mind spinning with questions, completely unaware of the shadowed man who followed her.

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